Brooches are trendy right now. What used to be called a lapel pin, these ornaments can decorate a top, a belt, a purse, or the hip of a skirt or pair of dress pants. With a little thread and a crochet hook, you can make this 1940s style trendy brooch for yourself.
The pattern calls for size 5 pearl cotton, which I had plenty of. You could also use size 10 crochet thread, but it won’t have the sheen that identifies pearl cotton. Also, you may find crochet thread more difficult to work with, since it is a stiffer thread.
When I read the pattern it said that each of the three leaves would take 20 yards of thread. Not the way I crochet, they didn’t! Here are the threads I pulled to make this pin. I only used the first two.
I started crocheting from the left to the right, thinking that each leaf would need a bit of each color, leaving the extra DMC 326 for the bow at the bottom. If I’d known this pattern required less than two of these skeins of DMC pearl cotton #5 (at 27 yards per skein), I would have made this in teal. I liked these oranges, but I loved the teal pearl cotton I found in my stash. This also would have looked great made completely in DMC 326, which are the two at the end.
One of the great things about vintage patterns is that they don’t care what color you use for projects. All your clothes are black and a set of snowy white leaves would look awesome in a pin? Then use white. You love the deep jewel colors? Find a burgundy or emerald pearl cotton and go to town. I love the colors of autumn, so when I found five coordinating colors of rusty orange my heard skipped a beat. I gatherred them up and went in search of a suitable crochet hook.
You Will Need
- Two to three skeins pearl cotton #5 in the color of your choice (or 1-2 balls of 5 pearl cotton) If you need pearl cotton and don’t know where to find it, you can get beautiful DMC or Finca perle (pearl) cotton from the Tatting Corner.
- A size 7 metal crochet hook like you see in the photo above
- A nice-sized safety pin or actual pin back
- A needle for sewing everything together
- Matching thread if you don’t want to assemble this completely with the pearl cotton. (I used the pearl cotton.)
What to do
First of all, this is a tricky pattern. If you are a new crocheter, take it slow and follow the directions exactly. Count a lot. If you don’t have the correct number of stitches at the end of a row, try again. If you decide to push on anyway, know that your leaf will be just as pretty when it’s finished. It won’t be as large, however. It will be shorter and a bit less wide.
How do I know? Because I had to make one of the leaves three times before I got the hang of the pattern. I hope to save you the same trouble.
You are going to make three leaves and sew them together, and then make a bow to decorate the bottom. Ready? Here we go. One 1940s style trendy brooch awaits your trusty crochet hook.
- st: stitch
- sk: skip
- lps: loops
- sc: single crochet
- hdc: half double crochet (thread over hook once, insert hook in the stitch, and pull thread through, thread over hook again and draw through all the loops on the hook at once.
- dc: double crochet
Leaf (make 3)
Row 1: Starting at the tip of the leaf, ch 6. Working back up the chain, skip 1 st, 4 sc on ch, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) into the end stitch. Coming up the other side of the starting chain, work 3 sc on the other side of the chain. Work the following rows in the back loops only to form ridges.
Note: Working the stitches into the back loop of the previous row forms ridges that look like the veins of a leaf. If you can’t do this or it feels uncomfortable, then don’t. Your leaf will be just as pretty without the ridges.
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in back lps of each last 4 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in tip 3-chain, then sc in each of the next 4 sc.
Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in each of last 5 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in previous row 3-ch, sc in each of the next 4 sc.
Row 4: Ch 2, turn, 1 sc on the first of the two chains you just made, then 1 sc in each of the next 5 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in previous row 3-ch, sc in each of the next 5 sc.
Row 5: Ch 2, turn, 1 sc on chain as before, 1 sc in each sc up to the tip, then (1 sc, 3 ch, 1 sc) in 3-ch from previous row, then 1 sc in each sc up to the second stitch from the end. [You are leaving one stitch unworked at the end of the row.]
Row 6: Repeat Row 5. [Each row should have one more sc than the preceding one, so this would be 1 sc in each of the next 7 sc.]
Row 7: Repeat Row 5. [Crocheting 1 sc in each of the next 8 sc.]
Row 8: Repeat Row 5. [Crocheting 1 sc in each of the next 9 sc.]
Row 9: Ch 2, turn, 1 sc on ch, 10 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 9 sc.
Row 10: Ch 1, turn, 10 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.
Row 11: Ch 1, turn, 11 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.
Row 12: Ch 1, turn, 11 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.
Row 13: Ch 1, turn, 11 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.
Row 14: Ch 1, turn, 11 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 10 sc.
Row 15: Ch 1, turn, skip last sc, sc in next 10 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in ch-3, 10 sc.
Row 16: Ch 1, turn, sk last sc, 10 sc, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in ch-3, 9 sc.
Row 17: Ch 1, turn, sk last sc, 1 sc in each remaining sc up to the point, (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc) in 3-ch, 1 sc in each sc through third from end. [You are leaving two sc unworked at the end of the row.]
Row 18: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.
Row 19: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.
Row 20: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.
Row 21: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.
Row 22: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.
Row 23: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before.
Row 24: Repeat Row 17. You should have one less stitch than the row before. Fasten off.
Once your three leaves are complete, sew them together with the center leaf over the other two. See picture below.
Making the bow
This part is a bit complicated. You are going to make a small circle of stitches and go around and around those few stitches to make a tube. The easiest way to do this is to go into the stitch holding your hook from the outside pointed in. Pick up the stitch you need to work, and carefully tilt your crochet hook upward so you don’t snag anything else along the way. Then complete the stitch.
The bow: Ch 2. Make 2 sc, 1 hdc, and 2 dc in the first chain.
Using the back loops only, the ones closest to the center of the circle, make 1 dc in each of the 5 stitches.
Continue around and around, 1 dc in each dc, until you have 10 1/2 inches of rope. Close the end with slip stitches and fasten off.
Note: Crocheting into the back loop only makes the rope look spiraled and fancy. If this is too difficult, don’t do it. Your rope will still look nice and shiny in pearl cotton.
Make a short length the same way, measuring only 1 1/2 inches long. Fasten off the same way as the longer cord.
Fold the longer cord into two loops with two ends, as you see in the photos. Take a couple stitches through all the loops to hold them. Then use the shorter length around the middle to form a completed bow. Sew it in place invisibly.
I knotted the shorter piece around the longer one, and then took the ends and sewed them first to the bow to hold it still and then I used the rest of those ends to sew the bow to the leaves. Here’s what it looks like when it’s completed:
Turn the completed pin over. If you think some of the pieces are too loose, use some extra pearl cotton or thread to tack them down. Then sew the pin to the middle of the pin so that you can attach it to whatever you want. Voilá! You did it! You are now the proud owner of a true 1940s style trendy brooch.
If you’d like to try another vintage crochet project, take a look at my post on 1950s Crocheted Glass Covers.